This is the "Textbook Options" page of the "Textbook Alternatives: support for faculty" guide.
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This page was created for faculty members ready to adopt a new textbook or choose supporting materials for an upcoming class. Find information on locating or creating non-traditional texts and lower-cost paths to traditional texts.
Last Updated: Oct 30, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Textbook Options Print Page

Better or Cheaper Alternatives?

Sometimes a traditional textbook fits a class beautifully.  Sometimes not.            


Students are concerned about outrageous costs. 

Faculty are concerned about textbook content not quite matching class goals.


There are alternatives that may offer flexibility, low cost or both!




Using relevant writings, images, and media linked to or embedded in online learning environments including Canvas, Blackboard, D2L, an Auraria Library Guide, or other online syllabus location. Consider exploring options in partnership with a campus librarian who can assist in identifying and linking pertinent articles, books, videos, and images.

Specialized encyclopedia content can be used to introduce concepts and ideas and the Library offers many titles with linkable sections.  For example, check out the subject-specific encyclopedias in the Gale Virtual Reference Library and from Oxford.

A free or low cost textbook available through a reliable supplier. 

A personally-created or enhanced open textbook that can be offered for free or inexpensively.
There are now more options than ever for doing this on your own or collaboratively.

Using videos in lieu of textbooks. As at least one campus professor is doing.

Assigning older editions of textbooks if feasible. Or just letting students know an older edition is ok. 

Choosing textbooks or chapters available as low cost rentals. If a title you're interested is not available as a rental, let the publisher know that making the textbook available in that manner would be a positive when deciding whether or not to adopt the book for a course.

Having digitized readings from print textbooks placed on Auraria Library Reserves or linked to online learning spaces. If you're only assigning small portions of the book, this should fall within Fair Use.

Selecting a more general book as the "textbook" and then asking an Auraria Library Collection Development librarian if the book is available as a multi-access ebook.

Locating and integrating free educational support materials into your course.  Locate these by searching the Web and combining the phrase "educational resources," "education resources," "open resources," or the word "courseware" with a word or phrase describing the topic being taught. For example: Combining the words educational resources and environment.

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